Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Whole wheat Fantails

I have made pull apart bread  several times . It's everyone's favourite at home.
This is my little experiment which went off very well. Hope you enjoy it too. please read the entire recipe including notes before starting.



Ingredients : gives 6
Sugar                             1 tsp 
Warm water                   3/4 cup  (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
Active dry instant yeast   1 1/2 tsp
Olive oil                        1 tbsp
Salt                               3/4 tsp
Whole wheat flour          1 1/2 cups 
All Purpose Flour             1/2  cup + extra for dusting
Olive oil                        for brushing
Milk                               for brushing

For the Filling:
Butter  or olive oil         2 tbsp (melted )
Oregano                        2 tsp
Crushed  Garlic              2 tsp
Chilli flakes                   2 tsp
Cheddar Cheese            2 tbsp grated.
 
Method 
  1. Place  whole wheat flour in a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre.
  3. Sprinkle salt on the sides of flour , away from the well.
  4. Mix oil in water.
  5. Sprinkle sugar in the well.
  6. Over the sugar sprinkle yeast.
  7. Pour water - oil mixture into the well.
  8. Slowly blend in the flour, till all the flour is incorporated.
  9. At this time the dough will be very sticky.
  10. Tip it on a well floured counter top.
  11. Add all purpose flour little by little and keep kneading.
  12. Keep adding flour till the dough no longer sticks to the counter top, it might still stick very little to your hands .
  13. There will be a slight variation in the total amount of flour used because of the quality of the flour and weather conditions.
  14. Don't be tempted to add too much flour.
  15. Now knead till the dough is elastic and soft like baby's  bottom.
  16. If kneading by hand then knead for 10-12 minutes.
  17. Now   grease a large bowl and  put the ready dough into the bowl and turn the dough over so as to grease it from all sides. 
  18. Cover with a cling film and let it sit un disturbed in a warm and draft free place till it doubles in size, anywhere between an hour to hour and a half depending on the temperature of your kitchen .
  19.  To check if the dough has risen enough, push your finger , into the dough upto your second knuckle. If the indention remains when you remove your finger then it is ready else let it rise for some more time.
  20. Once the dough has doubled, turn it onto a floured surface and punch it .
  21. Knead for a couple of minutes to release all the trapped air .
  22. Roll  the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. 
  23. Brush the dough with melted butter . I prefer to use love oil.
  24. Sprinkle  rest  of the ingredients under filling all over the the dough.
  25. Press lightly with your finger tips so that the filling sticks to the dough.
  26. Cut the disk  into 6 strips, each about 2 inches wide.  You can use a pizza cutter for the same. I prefer dough scraper.
  27. Keep the strips , one on top of the other , buttered side up.
  28. Now cut the stack into 6 equal pieces. 
  29. Oil a six muffin tray.
  30. Place each piece on its side into a muffin cup. Press the bottom end lightly so that the layers stick to each other .
  31. Separate the outer layers of each roll to fan outward.
  32. Brush with oil. Cover and leave them for second prove, till they double in size.
  33. Anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes.
  34. Brush them with milk and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes till golden.
  35. Once done remove on a wire rack.
  36. Brush with melted butter or extra virgin olive oil for softer crust.

Note : 
  1. Water should be just warm to touch. Hot water kills yeast. 
  2. if you are using active dry yeast then in warm water mix sugar. Now sprinkle yeast and mix it lightly.
  3. Keep it in a warm place  for 10 minutes. You will see yeast would have ballooned by now.
  4. Pour the oil into the well. Now pour yeast water mixture  in the well and proceed.
  5. In this case you don't sprinkle sugar in the well.
  6. You can choose a filling of your choice.
  7. I experimented with a lot of fillings like : garlic & cheese; carom seeds & chilly flakes; chocolate & butter. So go ahead an experiment with the filling.
  8. You can also double the recipe, in that case divide the dough into two. Cover and keep one while you work on the other. Then repeat the process with the other dough. 

Brown (Dhansak) rice

Brown rice, a perfect accompaniment for Dhansak. The brown color is achieved using caramelized water.



Ingredients  serves 3 
Rice                     1 1/2 cup
Onions                  2 med. finely sliced 
Ginger paste          1/2 tbsp
Sugar                    2 tbsp
Water                   3 cups
Green cardamom   4 
Cumin                   1 tsp
Oil                        1 tbsp
Salt                       to taste

Method:
  1. Wash rice 3-4 times.
  2. Spread sugar in a pan and heat it.
  3. You will see sugar melting and turning brown.
  4. When it turns slightly darkish brown, turn off the gas and carefully add 3 cups of water. This is caramelised water.
  5. Heat oil in a large pan. 
  6. Crackle cumin.
  7. Add cardamom and onions.
  8. Sauté onions till soft and pink.
  9. Add ginger paste . Sauté till onions turn golden.
  10. Now drain and add rice, salt and the caramalized water that we had prepared earlier.
  11.  Bring it to a boil , cover and cook on low heat till all the water is absorbed and the rice is done.
  12. Serve hot with Dhansak


Vegetarian Dhansak

Dhansak is a very famous Parsi dish.  I got the basic recipe from a friend. I have added fried yam instead of meat and my veg . version of Dhansak was ready.



Ingredients  : Serves 3

For dal
Tur dal                       1/4 cup
Masoor dal                  1/4 cup
Moong dal                   1/8 cup
Chana dal                   1/8 cup
Brinjal                        1 ( thin and long variety ) cut into cubes
Yellow pumpkin          1/2 cup cut into cubes
Fenugreek leaves        1 cup  chopped
Tamarind paste           2 tbsp
Coriander                  1 tbsp ( leaves and stalks)
Mint leaves                1 tbsp
Salt                           to taste
Jaggery                    1 tbsp

Yam                         1 cup cubed.
Salt                          1 /2 tsp+1/2 tsp
Turmeric                  1/2 tsp
Oil                           2 tsp
Water                      1 1/2 cups

For wet paste 
Coriander seeds        1 tsp
Cumin seeds             1 tsp
Whole red chilly       2
Cinnamon                1" piece
Cloves                     2
Green Cardamom     3
Peppercorns            5
Garlic cloves           4
Green chill              1/2
Ginger                    2 tsp. (chopped)
Tomato                  1 small chopped
Coriander               1/4 cup ( leaves and stalks)

Dry powder
Green Cardamom    2
Star anise               1
Cloves                   2
Peppercorns           4
Whole red chilly     1
Cumin                    1 tsp

Method :
  1. Wash and soak the dals for 4 hours or overnite.
  2. Dry roast all ingredients for dry powder and pound them in mortar and pestle.
  3. Dry roast all dry ingredients for wet masala  . Make a fine paste of all ingredients  mentioned under wet masala ,  using little water.
  4. Cook all ingredients mentioned under dal in 2 cups of water until done.
  5. Cool and liquidise.
  6. Wash and cut yam into cubes.
  7. Marinade with salt and turmeric pd for 1 hour.
  8. Wash properly and pat it dry on a clean kitchen towel.
  9. Deep fry till golden.
  10. Pressure cook fried yam in little water and salt for 3 whistles.
  11. Heat oil in a pan and fry the wet masala for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell disappears.
  12. Add this masala and liquidised dal to cooked yam. Add 1 1 /2 cup water. Bring it to a boil. Stir in dry masala pd.
  13. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat.
  14. Serve with Dhansak rice.


Veg. Noodles in Tamarind sauce.

Smashing noodles with a tangy twist, the cashew and paneer provide a wonderful crunch, recipe loosely adapted from chef Vicky Ratnani's egg-less noodles.



Ingredients  serves 4:
Noodles                  200gms
Oil.                        2 tbsp + 1 tbsp+ 1tbsp
Garlic.                    2 tsp
Green chilly            1 (chopped finely)
Onion.                    2 (med) sliced Coarsely
Carrot                    1 julienned 
Bell pepper             1/2 each of yellow and red, julienned
Zucchini.                1/2 of medium size cubed
Cabbage                  1 cup shredded
Light soy sauce        1 tbsp
Red chilly sauce       1 /2 tbsp
Tamarind paste        1 tbsp
Schezwan  Chutney. 1 tsp ( optional)
Jaggery                   1 tsp
Paneer                    100 gms
Cornstarch               1tbsp
Cashew nuts             2 tbsp
Tamarind paste         1 tbsp
Pepper                     1/2 tsp
Salt                          to taste
Chopped cilantro      1 tbsp

Method:
  1. Boil the noodles in sufficient , salted water as per instructions on packet.
  2. Drain and wash with cold water to stop further cooking.
  3. Toss in a tbsp of oil to avoid sticking.
  4. Cut paneer in 1" cubes.
  5. Toss it in cornstarch.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large wok ,  fry paneer pieces till golden. Remove on kitchen towel .
  7. In the remaining oil fry cashew nuts till golden and crisp. Remove on kitchen towel.
  8. In the same wok add 2 tbsp oil and  tip in onions, green chilly and garlic. Sauté on high flame for one minute and add carrots .
  9. Sauté for a minute.
  10. Now add all the other vegetables and sauté for a minute stirring all the time.
  11. The vegetables should be crunchy and retain their color.
  12. In a bowl mix together soy sauce, chilly sauce, tamarind paste, jaggery, schezwan chutney, salt and pepper.
  13. Add this paste to the wok. Mix well. Now tip in noodles. Stir and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  14. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  15. Garnish with fried paneer and cashew and chopped cilantro . 
  16. Serve immediately.
Note : if not using schezwan chutney  increase the quantity of red chilly sauce.
Taste and add more tamarind paste if needed.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stuffed Bread Pockets

Amazingly soft and delicious bread pockets. Serve it for breakfast, pack it in lunch boxes or have it at meal time.
You can use any stuffing you like, only care should be taken that the stuffing is absolutely dry.
Two most important things in bread making are: the temperature of water in which you will be activating the yeast. Water should be just warm, approx. 48 to 54 degrees Celsius .
Second is kneading. You have to knead it for 10. -12 minutes for the gluten to develop, which helps the buns or any bread for that matter to rise. 
This stuffing is mildly spicy. You can alter it as per your taste. 

Please read the entire recipe including notes before you start.























Ingredients:
For Stuffing : 
Oil                           1 tbsp
Onion                       1/2 cup chopped finely
Garlic crushed           1 1/2 tsp
Cumin                       1/2 tsp
Bell peppers              1 cup ( use all three colors)
Paneer                      150 gms ( cottage cheese)
Frozen corn                1 cup
Fenugreek leaves        1 cup
Chilly flakes               1 1/2 tsp
Salt.                          To taste 
Jalapeños                   1 finely chopped
Olives                        10 quartered

For bread pockets
Active dry instant  Yeast   2 1/2 tsp
Sugar                              1 tbsp
 Warm water                   1 cup 
All Purpose Flour              3 cups
Salt                                 1 tsp
Garlic                              1 tbsp
Carom seeds                    1 tsp ( ajwain)
Oil                                  2 tbsp  + for brushing
Milk                                 For brushing

Method :
For stuffing :
  1. Wash and finely chop fenugreek leaves. Keep in a colander to drain off all water.
  2. Finely chop bell peppers.
  3. Cut paneer into very small cubes.
  4. Thaw frozen corn.
  5. Heat oil in a pan.
  6. Crackle cumin.
  7. Tip in garlic and onion.
  8. Sauté till onion turns soft and pink.
  9. Tip in bell peppers. Sauté for a minute.
  10. Add in corn, paneer and fenugreek leaves. Stir to mix.
  11. Add salt and chilly flakes.
  12. Mix and cook on high so that the mixture dries out completely.
  13. Remove from fire , mix in jalapeños and olives. Mix well   and let it cool.
  14. Taste and adjust salt .
  15. Now your filling is ready.
For bread pockets: 
  1. Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre.
  3. Sprinkle salt on the sides of flour , away from the well.
  4. Mix oil in water.
  5. Sprinkle sugar in the well.
  6. Over the sugar sprinkle yeast.
  7. Pour water - oil mixture into the well.
  8. Slowly blend in the flour, till all the flour is incorporated.
  9. At this time the dough will be very sticky.
  10. Tip it on a well floured counter top.
  11. Add more flour little by little and keep kneading.
  12. Keep adding flour till the dough no longer sticks to the counter top, it might still stick very little to your hands .
  13. Care should be taken to not add too much flour.  I used 2 tbsp flour more than mentioned above. 
  14. There will be a slight variation in the total amount of flour used because of the quality of the flour and weather conditions.
  15. Now knead till the dough is elastic and soft like baby's  bottom.
  16. If kneading by hand then knead for 10-12 minutes.
  17. Now   grease a large bowl and  put the ready dough into the bowl and turn the dough over so as to grease it from all sides. Cover with a cling film and let it sit un disturbed in a warm and draft free place till it doubles in size, anywhere between an hour to hour and a half depending on the temperature of your kitchen .
  18.  To check if the dough has risen enough, push your finger , into the dough upto your second knuckle. If the indention remains when you remove your finger then it is ready else let it rise for some more time.
  19. Once the dough has doubled, turn it onto a floured surface and punch it .
  20. Add garlic and carom seeds.
  21. Knead for a couple of minutes to release all the trapped air and incorporate garlic and carom seeds properly.
  22. Cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  23. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
  24. On a floured surface roll it out into a 9" long and 5 " wide oblong disk.
  25. Place 3 -4 tbsp of stuffing in the centre .
  26. Lift one long side over the stuffing. 
  27. Now lift the other side and place it over the first. Press lightly to seal.
  28. Lift both the ends , place over the stuffing and seal properly.
  29. Carefully lift and place it , sealed side down, an a silicon mat on which it is to be baked.
  30. Repeat with remaining balls.
  31. Place each pocket about 2" away from the other.
  32. Brush with oil. Cover and leave them for second prove, till they double in size.
  33. Anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes.
  34. Brush them with milk and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes till golden.
  35. After 15 minutes you can turn sides so that both sides turn golden.
  36. Once done remove on a wire rack.
  37. Brush with melted butter or extra virgin olive oil for softer crust.

Note : 
  1. if you are using active dry yeast then in warm water mix sugar. Now sprinkle yeast and mix it lightly.
  2. Keep it in a warm place  for 10 minutes. You will see yeast would have ballooned by now.
  3. Pour the oil into the well. Now pour yeast water mixture  in the well and proceed.
  4. In this case you don't sprinkle sugar in the well.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jam Sandesh

A traditional Bengali sweet made my way. Low calorie and mildly sweet.





Ingredients  gives 8-10 pieces

Toned Milk                 1 lit
Lemon juice               2 tbsp
Fine granulated sugar  4 tbsp
Strawberry jam          1-2 tbsp

Method
  1. Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan.
  2. When it comes to a boil,  add lemon juice  stirring all the time.
  3. You will see the milk curdling and whey separating.
  4. Strain it over a cheese cloth or muslin cloth.
  5. Wash it couple of times to remove the sourness of lemon juice.
  6. Squeeze it to remove all the water.
  7. Keep it in a flat platter and knead it well , till it is smooth.
  8. Now mix in the sugar , cover and let it sit till the sugar melts, may be half an hour.
  9. Now knead again . It should be very smooth.
  10. Divide into 8-10 equal portions.
  11. Shape each portion into a ball. Press to flatten a little.
  12. Now make an indention with your thumb.
  13. Carefully place a drop of strawberry jam.
  14. Repeat with the remaining balls. 
  15. Keep in the refrigerator.
  16. Serve chilled.
Note:  
  1. You should knead it as soon as you finish washing the paneer. Don't leave it for later. It kneads really well and turns smooth with very little effort when done while still warm.
  2. This recipe gives you mildly sweet Sandesh . That's how I like it.
  3. Taste once sugar has melted. Adjust as per your taste.
  4. I have used home made strawberry jam. I like the tartness of the jam against the sweetness of Sandesh .
  5. You can use a jam of your choice .

Multi Lentil -Potato Burger patty

Healthy burger patty. You can use any lentils  like chickpeas, black eyed beans, kidney beans, whole bengal gram etc, in any combination you like. 





Ingredients  gives 6 patty
Boiled potato                                                   3
Boiled kidney beans                                          1/2 cup
Boiled black chana ( whole Bengal Gram)            1 cup
Oil                                                                   1 tsp + for pan frying
Spring onion                                                     3 tbsp ( only white chopped finely )
Garlic crushed                                                  1 tsp
Ginger paste                                                     1 tsp
Bread crumbs                                                    1/4 cup + 1/4 cup (homemade)

Ground pepper                                                  3/4 tsp
Salt.                                                                 To taste

Method 
  1. Pulse potatoes, kidney beans and black chana in food processor . 
  2. It should be a coarse paste.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Tip in onions and garlic. Sauté  for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add ginger. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the coarse paste and cook for 1 minute stirring all the while.
  6. Remove from fire and let it cool.
  7. Mix in salt , pepper and 1/4 cup bread crumbs.
  8. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  9. Divide into 6 equal portions.
  10. Shape into balls and flatten a little using your finger tips.
  11. Roll in bread crumbs.
  12. Pan fry with little oil on a hot grill pan, until golden on both sides.
  13. Remove on a kitchen towel.
  14. Your burger patties are ready now! Go ahead and make a burger.

My burger:  with stir fried veggies.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wheat Flour Dough for Parathas and Rotis

This is basic wheat flour dough recipe which can be used to make plain chapatties as well as all kind of stuffed parathas. This recipe  will give 4 - 5 chapatties or parathas.














Ingredients Makes 4-5 :


Wheat flour.        1cup / 145 gms.
Oats.                    1 heaped tbsp. / 11gms.
Water                   150 ml.
Salt.                      A big pinch.



Method :

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients . Now slowly add water to make a soft dough.
  2. Quantity of water may  vary depending on quality of flour.
  3. Knead the dough well to make it pliable.
  4. I like to knead the dough with hand.
  5. You can use a  food processor if you like but adjust the quantity of water.
  6. Cover and keep it for at least half an hour.
  7. Use it as required.
  8. Left over dough can be stored in the fridge for at least 24 to 48 hours.

Paneer Paratha fingers

Excellent for packing in kids lunch boxes or in the evening when they come back from school. Or even breakfast.




Ingredients : serves 4
Stuffing
Paneer                  100 gms grated
Onion                   4 tbsp very finely chopped
Bell peppers          4 tbsp very finely chopped ( use all three colors)
Ground pepper      1/2 tsp
Green chilly          1 tsp finely chopped
Carom seeds          1/4 tsp
Salt                       to taste 
Chopped cilantro   1 tbsp
Cheddar cheese     3 tbsp grated
Roti dough             for making parathas

Method : 
  1. Mix lightly with a fork all the ingredients mentioned under stuffing.
  2. Take a big portion of the dough (approx 80 gms ) .
  3. Shape it into a ball. Roll in flour and roll out a thin disk of  9" diameter.
  4. Place 3 1/2 tbsp of stuffing on half of the rolled out disk.
  5. Lift the other half of the disk and fold it over the stuffing.
  6. Press the edges to seal . You will get a semi circular disk.
  7. Now gently lift it and put on a hot and greased girdle.
  8. Cook on one side till dotted with golden spots.
  9. Turn it and apply a little oil on the cooked side. Repeat on the other side.
  10. Now cook your disk till it is nice and golden..
  11. Place it on your  cooking counter,  Using  a pizza cutter cut it into 6 pieces.
  12. Repeat the process  to make more parathas.
  13. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Preserved Lemons

A Moroccan  condiment, used in meats, salads, Pilafs etc.   I had seen preserved lemon being mentioned a lot on television cookery shows. I was intrigued and wanted to try making these at home. Searched the net , went through several recipes , understood the basic procedure involved. Below is the account of how I successfully made my first batch of preserved lemons. Choose the lemons carefully. They should be bright yellow, thin skinned and without any blemishes.




Ingredients: 

Lemons                                                  6
Sea salt                                                 1/2 cup
Lemon juice                                          1/2cup freshly squeezed.
Wide mouth glass bottle with plastic lid   1

Method:
  1. Scrub and wash lemons properly.
  2. Leave them on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
  3. Cut off a small round portion from the stem end so that the lemon can sit properly.
  4. From the other end make an incision right up to the base but not cutting it through.
  5. Make another incision at ninety degrees. So now you have a lemon with four slices joined at one end.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining lemons.
  7. Sprinkle a 1 " layer of salt in the bottle.
  8. Slightly open up a lemon and fill it generously with salt.
  9. Keep it in the bottle with the cut side down. Press it hard to release juice.
  10. Repeat this process with the remaining lemons.
  11. Chances are the you may not be able to fit in all the lemons in the bottle.
  12. Don't worry you can fit the remaining the next day, coz by next day the lemons in the bottle would soften slightly and  you can push in the rest.
  13. Sprinkle  some more salt on top, say a tbsp.
  14. Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice to cover all the lemons. Use lemon juice judiciously. Don't pour all the once. If the lemons are juicy you may not need all of it and if they are not you may need more than mentioned.
  15. Tighten the lid and keep it in a dark cupboard . 
  16. Shake the bottle every day for first few days. Try to push the lemons to create space for the remaining lemons if any.
  17. Then shake it once in a while.
  18. In a month or month and a half the lemons would have turned soft.
  19. They are now ready to be used. You can continue to preserve them further if you like. 
  20. To stop further preservation keep them in the refrigerator . They will stay good for several months.

To use : remove as much as you want . Wash thoroughly. Remove the pulp and use the rind. But l like  to use it without removing the pulp.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stuffed Poha(beaten rice) Balls

Delicious snacks.Crunchy on the outside , with a spicy filling inside. You can make the stuffing without onions also. 



















Ingredients:  gives 12  
Poha                     250 gms
Water                   160 ml.
Salt                       1 1/2 tsp
Ground Pepper       1 tsp
Oil.                        For frying

Stuffing:
Boiled potatoes       2 med.
Frozen peas            1 cup ( measure before thawing)
Onion.                    1/4 cup chopped finely
Oil                         2 tsp
Cumin                    1/2 tsp
Green chilly            1 tsp finely chopped
Ginger paste           1/ 2 tsp
Red chilly pd          1/2 tsp
Turmeric pd           1/2 tsp
Raw mango pd        1/2tsp
Garam masala         1/4 tsp
Salt.                      To taste
Chopped coriander 1 tbsp

Method :
  1. Wash Poha couple of times and soak it in 160 ml water for one hour.
  2. Finely chop boiled potatoes.
  3. To prepare the stuffing heat oil in a pan. 
  4. Add  cumin and green chilly.
  5. When cumin turns brown, tip in onions.
  6. Sauté till they turn soft and pink.
  7. Meanwhile thaw frozen peas.
  8. Tip them into the pan. Cook till they are done.
  9. Add red chilly pd, turmeric pd, raw mango pd, garam masala, salt, ginger paste.
  10. Mix well add potatoes. Mix well and cook for two minutes so that all the flavours blend well.
  11. Remove from fire . Mix in chopped coriander . Taste and adjust seasoning.
  12. Divide the filling into 12 equal portions.
  13. Heat oil for frying.
  14. Mash the poha nicely.
  15. Add salt and pepper.
  16. Divide into 12 equal portions.
  17. Take one portion at a time.
  18. Add 1 tsp of water to it.
  19. Mix properly and flatten it in your palm.
  20. Keep one portion of the filling on it.
  21. Carefully pick up the sides and seal to form a ball.
  22. Wet your hands and smoothen the ball.
  23. You might find the covering breaking , don't worry , seal it using wet hands.
  24. Repeat the process with the remaining portions.
  25. Deep fry in a hot oil till lightly golden, on medium heat.
  26. Remove on kitchen towel to drain off excess oil.
  27. Fry two at a time .
  28. When you add  the balls to the oil it must be really hot, after that turn the heat to medium.
  29. Cut each into two using a serrated knife.
  30. Use see- saw motion to cut them.
  31. Serve with any sauce of your choice.